High Intensity Focused Electro-Magnetic Technology (HIFEM) for Non-Invasive Buttock Lifting and Toning of Gluteal Muscles: A Multi-Center Efficacy and Safety Study

November 2018 | Volume 17 | Issue 11 | Original Article | 1229 | Copyright © November 2018

Carolyn Jacob MD,a Brian Kinney MD,b Mariano Busso MD,c Suneel Chilukuri MD,d JD McCoy NMD,e Chris Bailey,f Radina Denkova MDg

aChicago Cosmetic Surgery and Dermatology, Chicago, IL bUniversity of Southern California (USC), Beverly Hills, CA cAesthetic Dermatology, Coconut Grove, FL dRefresh Dermatology, Houston, TX eContour Medical, Gilbert, AZ fOvation Med Spa, Houston, TX gAesthe Clinic Beauty, Sofia, BG

OBJECTIVE: Surgical intervention has been the only method to improve the aesthetic appearance of buttocks apart from physical exercising. This study evaluates the efficacy of high intensity focused electro-magnetic (HIFEM) treatments as a non-invasive solution for improvement of buttocks through toning and lifting of gluteal muscles. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 75 patients (aged 22-59) were treated using a device with HIFEM technology which stimulates gluteal muscles (EMSCULPT, BTL Industries, Boston, MA). The protocol included four 30-minute treatments. Patients’ weight was monitored throughout the study. Standard photographs were taken at the baseline, after the 4th treatment, and at the 1-month follow-up. Two 7-point Likert scale questionnaires were used to evaluate patients’ buttock and treatment satisfaction. Total score of buttock satisfaction was calculated as a sum of all individual questions to reflect the overall perception of patients’ buttocks. The level of comfort during procedures was assessed on a visual analog scale (VAS). RESULTS: The overall buttock satisfaction score (range, 4-28) of all subjects improved from 13.1±5.7 at baseline to 18.4±5.2 after the treatment and 18.9±5.1 at follow-up. For subjects with initial buttock dissatisfaction the scores improved from 8.7±1.6 to 16.3±3.1 after the treatment and to 17.3±3.1 at follow-up. The average score of all treatment satisfaction questions (range, 1-7) was 5.2±1.2 immediately after the treatments and 5.1±1.3 at follow-up. In total, patients initially dissatisfied with the appearance of their buttocks reported a significant 85% improvement after the fourth treatment. Immediately after the fourth treatment, all the subjects reported that their buttocks felt more lifted and toned. Results were maintained at one-month follow-up. Weight of the patients didn’t change significantly. Digital photographs showed aesthetic improvements of the buttocks for most of the patients. No adverse events were reported. CONCLUSION: The results show that the investigated device safely and effectively improves the aesthetic appearance of buttocks non-invasively. The treatments not only resulted in a significant visual improvement but also increased patient confidence and satisfaction. The procedure is suitable for patients seeking improvement in tone, shape, lift, and tightness of the buttocks. J Drugs Dermatol. 2018;17(11):1229-1232.


The popularity of surgical butt lifting, and augmenting procedures is rapidly growing. Since 2015, the number of performed procedures increased on average by 25% each year,1 while the increase over the past two decades totals 342%,2 with the total expenditures for these type of procedures reaching 120 million USD in 2016.2 The most popular methods are represented by buttock augmentation using silicone implants, autologous fat grafting, and a traditional butt lift done by cutting out an ellipse of excess skin and suturing the remaining skin back together. In general, these procedures are associated with one to four weeks of downtime.2 Surgical procedures are associated with risk of complications. The rate of complications related to buttock augmentation using silicone implants were reported to be as high as 21.6%3 and 38.1%,4 while for autologous fat grafting complications were reported to occur in 9.9% of all cases.3 The most common complications are wound dehiscence, seroma, and infection.3 Further